Crime & Courts

Murder cases on the rise in South Africa

Every single time, young people continue to be the victims of fatalities in the country. The majority of them are being murdered by those they care about, while others have been murdered without provocation.

Dimpho Skelenge, a citizen of Caledon, Western Cape, had been alive for 28 years before he was taken from this world on September 29.

Dimpho uprooted her life and moved from Ashton to Caledon in order to launch a new career and escape her exe-boyfriend, who refused to accept the fact that their relationship had come to an end.

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Her allegedly abusive ex-boyfriend came to her new house with flowers and wine to apologize to her after they broke up. He stabbed her to death as a punishment for the fact that she would not accept his apology.

After stabbing her, her ex-boyfriend allegedly ran away, but the police were able to track him down and take him into custody after conducting some intelligence operations.

He is currently being held by the police for further questioning, and it is anticipated that he will be brought before a judge soon for the murder charge.

71 people are killed every day in South Africa, and these are the areas with the highest murder rates.

The most recent crime statistics for the first quarter of 2022/23 have been published by the South African Police Service (SAPS). These statistics represent the period of time from April to June 2022.

71 people are killed every day in South Africa, and these are the areas with the highest murder rates.

Some categories of crime exhibited frightening rises, even if overall crime rates were relatively stable in the quarter as compared to the same period the year before (although there was a minor increase of 1.1% in the number of community offenses reported).

This included homicide, with figures from the police showing an increase in crime of 11.5% from one year to the next.

According to Bheki Cele, the Minister of Police, the rise in the number of homicides in the country is “worrisome.”

According to Cele, there were as many as 6,424 people murdered in South Africa in the first three months of the fiscal year 2022/2023. This represents an increase of 664 people murdered in the same time period a year ago, when the country was placed under Covid-19 lockdown levels one and two.

That works up to an average of 71 individuals being murdered somewhere in the country every single day during the 91 days between April and June.

According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), this amounts to 11 homicides for every 100,000 individuals in South Africa during the three-month period, a figure that has progressively grown over the years, from eight for every 100,000 in 2018.

The Eastern Cape has the highest murder rate per 100,000 residents, with 18, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 14, with the Western Cape following closely behind with 13.8.

According to the South African Police Service, disagreements and misunderstandings continue to be the top two reasons for homicides. Murders committed out of retaliation or retribution were also common reasons for taking someone’s life, while vigilantism ranked as the third most likely reason for someone’s death.

Knives and other types of sharp implements come in second place after firearms in terms of their frequency as murder weapons.

During this time period, the highest number of murder cases were registered at the uMlazi and Plessislaer police stations in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the uMthatha station in the province of the Eastern Cape. A total of 221 murder cases were reported in these three regions combined.

According to Cele, “Recently, the police ministry and SAPS management met with Umlazi policing structures, traditional and religious leaders, business leaders, and youngsters in an effort to tighten policing in the area.”

“It was through this engagement that the improvement of police response time and scarcity of cars and how environmental design obstructed policing were highlighted forcefully, and these issues are being promptly addressed at the national, provincial, and local government level,”

In addition, the SAPS conducted investigations into 284 dockets involving multiple murders, when two or more people were killed at the same time.

The number of murders involving more than one victim was highest in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, followed by the provinces of Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. According to Cele, the vast majority of these homicides were carried out with the assistance of a firearm.

The thirty precincts around the country with the highest murder rates are listed in the table below.

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